Game #2: Sat. Sept. 8, 2012 6:00 p.m. (Central)
Cedar Falls, Iowa (UNI-Dome)
Television: KWWL (Ch. 7.3) Cedar Falls Utilities (Ch. 15)
Radio: Panther Sports Network
The University of Northern Iowa Panthers will host their home opener for the 2012 season against the Central State Marauders. The Panthers will enter the game at No.7 in the FCS Coaches Poll. This is the 114th season of football for the UNI Panthers.
The home opener for the Panthers and the Marauders will mark the first time in both programs' history that the teams have met. The Panthers have not played a team from the NCAA Division II since 2007 when they defeated Minnesota State-Mankato 41-14.
Head coach Mark Farley is entering his 12th season with a mark of 99-40. He has guided the Panthers to a record of 60-20 for an impressive .750 winning percentage in MVFC play. He has led the team to seven conference championships, seven playoff appearances, 10 top-25 final rankings, three national semifinal appearances and one national title game appearance.
Ester James Junior, III is current head coach of Central State University. He is a former American professional football player who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft, playing in 13 NFL seasons from 1981-1993 for the Cardinals, the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Seattle Seahawks.
- The Panthers currently have an all-time record of 620-384-47.
- The Panthers have been present in 16 playoffs, seven semifinals and one championship game.
- UNI has been ranked in the Top 25 in 94 consecutive polls, dating back to Nov. 15, 2004. The Panthers are five weeks shy of setting an all-time Missouri Valley Football Conference record for consecutive weeks in the polls.
- UNI had seven players participating in NFL camps during the 2012 preseason including, Brandon Keith, Ryan Mahaffey, Chad Rinehart, Austin Howard, L.J. Fort, Austin Wells and Brad Meester.
This will be the second week in a row that the Panthers have never met their opponent. This will also serve as the first time UNI has met a team from the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Central State Marauders
The Central State Marauders finished the season 1-10 overall with a 0.091 winning percentage. They finished 0-3 at home, 1-5 on the road and 0-2 at neutral sites. Their one win came against conference foe Kentucky Wesleyan College on Oct. 29 when they won 36-0.
The game against Wisconsin is the largest crowd (79,568) that the Panthers have played in front of in the program's history. The next largest crowd the Panthers have played against was 70,585 against Iowa in 2005 and 2009.
Starting The Season
Jenks, Okla. native and redshirt freshman quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen has been named the starter for the Panthers. Kollmorgen will become the fifth freshman to start at quarterback in UNI history. The last time a UNI freshman quarterback started against an FBS opponent, the Panthers defeated Ball State, 42-39. Tom Petrie started against Ball State on Sept. 22, 2001, and guided the Panthers to a victory in that game. The last time a UNI freshman quarterback started a season opener came when Tom Petrie opened up the 2001 season with a 34-14 victory over Wayne State (Mich.) on Aug. 30, 2001.
First Quarter Showdown
Only one team during the 2011 season was able to keep Wisconsin from scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. Illinois and Wisconsin went scoreless in the first quarter of their match-up last season. The Panthers held the Badgers to a mere three points during the first quarter.
Senior punter Kyle Bernard opened his season with a thunderous 51-yard punt in the first quarter and a 50-yard punt in the third quarter. During the 2011 season he finished the season with nine 50-plus yard punts.
Among the Few
Ohio and Illinois were the only two teams during the 2011 season to keep Wisconsin under the 14-point mark at halftime. The Panthers limited the Badgers to only two field goals and a late second quarter touchdown.
First time for Everything
Chad Owens scored his first receiving touchdown in his collegiate career against Wisconsin. He notched a rushing touchdown during the 2011 season.
Wilmot Wellington finished the game with 15 tackles and a new career high. His previous career high tackles was against Wofford last season with 12.
In 2009, the Panthers were narrowly defeated by No. 21 Iowa 17-16. This game will serve as the second closest deficit by the Panthers against a ranked FBS opponent.
Big Time Receptions
The game against Wisconsin counts as David Johnson's first career multi-reception touchdown game. It was his fifth multiple touchdown game in his career.
MVFC Player of the Week
The Panthers garnered two MVFC honors after the first week of play with Sawyer Kollmorgen being named the MVFC Newcomer of the Week and Garrett Scott being named the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week. Kollmorgen opened his freshman campaign against a strong
Wisconsin defense and finished with 18-of-34 completed passes, 265 yards and three touchdowns. Scott helped the UNI Panthers keep the Wisconsin Badgers fewer than 30 points for only the third time in the last year. He notched 15 tackles against the high powered Badger offense including six solo and nine assisted.
The Panthers are already gaining national attention after their performance against Wisconsin. Sawyer Kollmorgen was chosen as part of The Sports Network FCS National Player of the Week. He was chosen as the Co-Freshman of the week for his stellar outing against Wisconsin.
Getting in the Game
Forty-seven different Panthers made their season debut against the Badgers last Saturday. Among the group that saw action in the game were 10 freshmen.
Racking up the Points
Junior kicker Tyler Sievertsen has scored at least three points (field goals or extra points) in 14 consecutive games. He finished second inthe FCS in field goal percentage at 90 percent last season.
The Panthers put on a second half show for the 79, 568 crowd at Camp Randall this past Saturday as UNI rallied from a 19-point deficit against Wisconsin, but were narrowly defeated 21-26 on the last UNI drive. Redshirt freshman quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen caught his rhythm late in the third quarter and ended up completing 18-34 passes for 265 yards.
UNI is 57-50-7 all-time in season openers and 14-9 in the last 21 years. UNI is 6-5 in season openers under head coach Mark Farley. The last time UNI opened the season with a road win came in 2006, when the Panthers defeated Drake. The last time UNI opened the season with a road win over an FBS opponent came in 1998, when the Panthers tallied a 13-10 win at Eastern Michigan.
Home Sweet Dome
UNI is 183-45-1 in the UNI-Dome. The Panthers have gone undefeated at home in a season eight times since 1990. Prior to 1998, the Panthers had two consecutive winning seasons in the Dome. The Panthers have posted four perfect seasons at home under head coach Mark Farley. The Panthers are 73-13 in home Missouri Valley Football Conference games.
2011 Inside the Dome
The Panthers finished the 2011 season with a 6-0 record inside the Dome, including a decisive win against Wofford in the FCS playoffs.
Senior running back Carlos Anderson currently has 1,941 total rushing yards that span over his exciting career as a Panther. Anderson is just 59 yards shy of hitting the 2,000 mark and only 456 yards shy of being on the Panther's All-Time Career Rushing Top-10 list.
Punting for the Top
Senior punter Kyle Bernard is currently sitting on a 41.6 yard career average and 5,837 yards total. That puts him in second place in the UNI Football Career Punting All-Time Top-10 under Clay Netusil who was the Panther punter from 1984-1986.
UNI is 70-5 in the Mark Farley era (2001-present) when holding the opposition to 20 points or less.
The 2012 Panther Defense - Returning Starters
Chris Jepsen recorded 27 total tackles including nine solo tackles and 18 assisted tackles during 2011. Garrett Scott finished the 2011 season with 105 total tackles including 55 solo tackles, 50 assisted tackles, four interceptions and nine pass breakups. Wilmot Wellington finished his 2011 campaign with 59 total tackles, three pass breakups and one fumble recovery. Varmah Sonie finished the 2011 season with 17 punt returns for 147 yards and a total of 177 all-purpose yards. He completed the season with 70 total tackles including 37 solo tackles and 33 assisted tackles. He had three interceptions and seven pass breakups. J.J. Swain recorded 69 total tackles including 45 solo tackles and 24 assisted tackles, three tackles for loss of yards, three interceptions and three pass breakups.
UNI is 65-3 in the Mark Farley years when scoring 30 or more points in a game.
The 2012 Panther Offense - Returning Starters
Terrell Sinkfield recorded 28 receptions for 464 yards and six touchdowns during 2011. His longest reception was for 40 yards against MSU and SSU. Carlos Anderson accumulated 77 carries for 410 yards and four receptions for 33 yards during his 2011 campaign. His longest rush was for 57 yards against South Dakota State. He returned 24 kicks for 555 yards and recorded 1,003 all-purpose yards. David Johnson finished the 2011 season with 179 carries for 822 yards and nine touchdowns and 33 receptions for 422 yards and three touchdowns.